Really? What criteria are you using to come to this ridiculous conclusion?
It's happening in place where the governments are cutting education. Countries that are still heavily invested in education; Finland, South Korea, New Zealand, Japan and Norway are doing perfect fine. The US has had a anti-intellectual mindset for a few decades now, mainly thanks to the tea party.
America #5, Finland #17, South Korea not in the top 22, New Zealand #18, Japan not in the top 22, and finally Norway, #8 in starting teacher salaries.
If you're going based on GDP, then you may be correct in %, but not in total dollars, you know, considering Norway's GDP is only $485.8 billion (2011) and America's is $15.09 trillion (2011).
The problem with education in America isn't how much that's spent, it is that there's no focus on actual studies, it is more on memorization. We have horrible standards of learning tests (at least my state did) that didn't really require us to learn the subjects, just memorize them. And there's a major difference between the two, at least I think so.
The US spends five times more than any other country on education. So try again on America not investing in education. And slams on a grassroots party that has only been around for four years, really is ignorant.
Now, with regard to Mr. Gates' comments, I agree that we need to invest in better teachers, but one of the problems, at least from my perspective, is that poor teachers are rarely fired because of unions. Unions have no place in the education system, period. A poor teacher should not be shielded by a union, it is unacceptable for this to happen. There needs to be a body, even an international body, like CompTIA for certifications in technology, that teachers get their accreditations from that have to be renewed every few years or they can't teach anymore. This will keep teachers on their toes for knowing what they should be teaching their students. I had way to many teachers who simply did not understand the material they taught, or could not teach in real world scenarios. For example, one of my computer teachers was very book smart, but applying the lessons to the real world was incredibly difficult for him.
Our problem isn't a lack of funding, it is a lack of good teachers and getting rid of the poor ones.
Here's an article regarding this matter from a teacher who opposed teachers unions: http://news.yahoo.co...-152100130.html
Edited by Hurmoth, 02 February 2013 - 23:22.